PTDF screens 198 candidates for foreign postgraduate scholarship in Southeast 

The Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) has started screening no fewer than 198 candidates for its 2024/2025 Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) for Nigerians applying for postgraduate studies from the South-East.

Mr Afam Ikwuemesi, Team Lead, Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) Initiative Programme (South-East Centre), told journalists in Enugu on Wednesday that it covers Masters and Ph.D postgraduate programmes.

Ikwuemesi said the applicants were given the prerogative to choose the centre by themselves and almost 200 people prefer the South-East centre.

He said the ongoing OSS interview and original certificate sighting and screening, which is  holding at the Main Hall of the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (for South-East centre), would run for the rest of the week.

According to him, “the annual PTDF overseas postgraduate scholarship is a well thought-out programme intended to bridge the skill gap in the oil and gas industry and used over the years to train the best of Nigerians.”

Ikwuemesi, who is also PTDF Chief Officer (Training Division), said that the ongoing OSS programme would give priority attention to engineering, geo-sciences, environmental sciences, renewable energy among others.

“Part of our mandate is capacity building in the oil and gas industry; for now, we (PTDF) have been mandated to train Nigerians in the different skills and vocations in the oil and gas industry.

“We use this scheme to train Nigerians in top universities abroad, especially those we have partnership with.

“After completing their training, these scholars come back and contribute to the oil and gas industry in the identified skills gap areas,” he said.

He further said that availability of fund would be key in determining the number of candidates for the scholarship award.

He noted that initially over 20,000 Nigerians applied online nationwide and about 5,000 were shortlisted for this interview nationwide; “while here presently about 200 prefer South-East centre”.

In his remarks, Prof. Okwudiri Anyiam, the Lead Panelist PTDF OSS Interview for South-East centre, said the interview was for both Masters Degree and Ph.D. candidates simultaneously.

Anyiam, who is the Head of Department of Geology in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said that some of the criteria for the scholarship interview included: good O’Level result, good undergraduate graduating grade and membership of professional body.

“Others are research proposal, statement of purpose and its relevance to oil and gas industry needs,” he said.

Also speaking, one of the candidates, Mr Charles Osuji, said he applied for a Masters Degree programme in Renewable Energy at Cranfield University, United Kingdom.

Osuji said he was highly impressed with the transparency of the selection process, adding that the process had been genuine and management with high level of integrity.

Another candidate, Chidinma Ifekuche, who applied for Masters in Process Safety, said that the process of application and shortlist had been seamless and transparent.

“I have resolved to take the programme seriously if given the opportunity in the OSS scheme,” Ifekuche said.